BWILD ISAN’s Chicken Bag: The Mainstay Bag from the Isan Region that Transforms the Local Vibes! by SME Thailand

Previously, many people may have seen the “Chicken Bag” that turned viral due to Loren from the page “I’m Not a Normal Person Part 2,” holding a yellow chicken bag in a photo. It received over 60,000 likes and was shared by more than 5,000 people! The behind-the-scenes story of this eye-catching chicken bag is the brand BWILD ISAN, a truly Thai fashion brand from the Northeast with extraordinary stories, aiming to transform ordinary things from the Northeast into something special.

download 4

Founder of BWILD ISAN, Chompoo Kanchana Shnatepaporn, transformed the brand during the COVID-19 pandemic in response to the need to assist Northeastern designers affected by the pandemic. Many designers had to return home and find alternative sources of income. Chompoo, who had a background in business management and ran a fabric store with her husband after obtaining a master’s degree, also learned sewing. She started a bridal wear business called “by Heart Studio” in Khon Kaen, which has been running for more than 14 years.

After the challenges posed by COVID-19, Chompoo felt the need to help the local community and promote Thai fabrics internationally. Despite initially thinking about starting BWILD, she did not expect it to become so intense. The pandemic affected businesses, especially in the wedding industry, with many designers losing their jobs. Chompoo saw the dedication of some designers who were let go due to companies not taking responsibility, and she didn’t want to leave them without support.

Driven by good intentions and not merely for financial gain, Chompoo explained that starting a fashion business during the pandemic was initially challenging when other businesses were closing. She said, “I didn’t start the business because I saw opportunities or money, but during the pandemic when others closed down, we accepted people to come in and create together. It was very difficult at the beginning for

download 1

For over 2 years, since the conception and the beginning of trial and error, the first creation of the brand, after having a clear identity, finally emerged as the Kai Baan Bag or Home Chicken Bag with a starting price of 15,000 Baht. Chompoo explains that the brand’s design is inspired by the lifestyle of the people in the Northeast, taking the ordinary, rustic elements of home and transforming them into artistic pieces in the form of bags.

This bag is not just about carrying beautiful and fun-designed bags, but it conceals a deeper meaning. Chompoo emphasizes that “fashion” is not just about having fun and looking beautiful every day. People buy it because they see some value in it and want to support BWILD ISAN to create work and foster pride in the Northeast.

“The Kai Baan Bag is the first prototype after I learned and understood the strategy of the brand we wanted to become. We work and learn together. Initially, the story of the brand was not something we thought we had to tell and make widely known. We focused on producing products for the market. However, every brand talks about the same thing. Why should people buy from us? Because we were afraid of selling at too high a price, we released mid-range products, avoiding mass production, and focused on creating unique items. We were initially hesitant to share the brand’s story, but we wanted to make a difference in the market, avoiding the competition on price that leads to discounting and cutting prices. The cycle becomes difficult, and prices start to decrease, leading to a race to the bottom.”

download 3

(Left image credit: Facebook: ดิฉันไม่ใช่คนภาค2 | Right image credit: IG : Artof hongtae)

After finding the brand’s identity and producing unique products, creating the brand with sincerity, we believe that customers buy from us not just because they want a chicken bag worth 15,000 Baht, but because they want to show us their support. They want to encourage and express happiness that we create products like this. Working like this is for people like this. This is what we have learned after the Chicken Bag went viral, especially with Loren, who had a comeback with feedback. He gave reviews, pinned them on his page, and messaged us, saying how it’s going, if it’s selling well. He wants it to sell well. It touches our hearts and gives us motivation to work.

Behind the scenes of the Chicken Bag is not just about fashionable and chic designs. It also involves stories and people hidden beneath the culture of the Northeast – skilled craftsmen with years of experience, and new-generation designers who want to showcase the essence of the Northeast. This is BWILD ISAN, not just a fashion brand but a strong Northeastern community. The core belief is that… we will create a good community that we want to be a part of, starting from the small point where “people” are the ultimate resource valued by the BWILD ISAN brand.

“I didn’t preconceive what kind of fashion brand I wanted to be. I am not a fashion student. I do this work out of love, starting with the abilities I have. It all begins with people. We want to do work that we find valuable from doing it. It’s not a formula or business code. BWILD ISAN may not be like other fashion brands. We want to create something that heals our own hearts. Especially in this crisis, everything we encounter feels much more significant than regular brand creation because we have been through so much together as a team. Everyone has been affected, especially those living in other provinces. We work in fashion, but it seems restricted that if you are in fashion, you must be in Bangkok. We try to break that and say that fashion is everywhere. Everyone has their own fashion; it doesn’t have to be the same. Fashion in any form that improves people’s lives is the kind of fashion we choose.”

download 2

Fashion that stands the test of time, conducting a business that suits oneself, not looking at money as the sole foundation, has made BWILD ISAN a fashion brand that breaks boundaries. Chompoo concludes by sharing that she applies the principles of a self-sufficient economy she learned as one of the creators from the “พอแล้วดี The Creator” project to adapt and navigate the fashion business through various crises to the present day.

“We believe that we are a fashion brand that has applied the principles of a self-sufficient economy in designing a business during a crisis. BWILD ISAN uses the middle way; we think and do everything reasonably, with causes and effects, and we continually add knowledge to make our business resilient. Growing gradually, like others, with a society as the destination, is like a tree that takes time for its roots to hold firmly in the soil. It will be strong enough to be a resting place for others one day. We believe that doing business is no different from living life. Whenever we lack, we need to know how to replenish. When we have enough, we need to know how to stop. And when we have more than enough, we must know how to share. Nowadays, everyone wants to be in a good society, not just by being good individuals. If we are in a business position, we must create a better business in society. We don’t have to wait for someone else to start. We start from ourselves, starting where we can.”

Finally, Chompoo wishes to be an inspiration for Thai SMEs to navigate through this situation, while maintaining the essential “people” within the organization with awareness, wisdom, mutual compassion, and sharing. Every life has equal value, and a good business journey, no matter how small, should involve sharing opportunities with others.